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DÍa de Muertos Celebration

Nov. 1 & 2, 2023 | 4–8 p.m.

Free and open to the public!

Join us for a special community gathering for Día de Muertos, a celebration of life that demonstrates remembrance, love, and respect for those who have gone before us. Choose to come on either Nov. 1 or Nov. 2, or celebrate with us on both days! This event is free and open to the public.

  • Contribute to a community ofrenda
  • Watch live music and performances on the mainstage theatre
  • Engage with hands-on art activities
  • Installation by artist Cal Duran
  • See ofrendas created by local school and community groups
  • Food and drink available for purchase

Reservations are encouraged

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a tradition that dates back around 3,000 years in Latin America. Mesoamerican cultures such as the Aztec, Toltec, Quechua, Mapuche, and others hold a cyclical view of the universe in which death is an integral part of life. The dead are still members of the community, kept alive in memory and spirit, and are welcomed back to Earth during el Día de Muertos.

The revival of the observance of Día de Muertos in the United States is part of the Mexican American reclamation of Indigenous identity that began with the Chicano Movement, which spanned from the 1940s to the 1970s. This celebration continues to evolve in different ways in various regions, illustrating the importance of reclaiming cultural heritage and tradition. Within the United States, it has evolved as a mix of Latin American Indigenous practices, Roman Catholic spiritual traditions, and diasporic Hispano/a, and Latinx American cultural expression. Like many holidays, it is celebrated in different ways by individuals, families, and communities. Ofrendas (offerings) are made to honor those who have passed and often make creative or socially engaged statements.



Wednesday, Nov. 1
4:45 p.m.: Ritmo y Sabor Hispano
5:30 p.m.: Mariachi Tigre
6:15 p.m.: Ballet Folklórico de la Raza
7 p.m.: Grupo de Baile Hispanidad
7:30 p.m.: Mariachi Diamante

Thursday, Nov. 2
4:45 p.m.: Ballet Folklórico de la Raza
5:30 p.m.: Mariachi Tigre
6:15 p.m.: Ballet Folklórico de Barajas
7 p.m.: Grupo Folklórico Sabor Latino

Hands-on Art Activities

  • Sugar skull (calaveras) decorating with Bemis Art School instructor Ronee Smith
  • Paper flowers and cut paper flags (papel picado) with Bemis Art School instructor Dawn Eeh
  • Button making
  • Coloring pages
  • Face painting from Metamorphaces
  • Ojos de Dios (God’s eye) making workshops with CC Mobile Arts

Food & Drink

Food and drink available for purchase from:

  • Las Americas
  • Bon Appétit
  • Deco Bar will be open

Community Ofrenda

Participate in the construction of a community ofrenda in the Smith Family Gallery throughout both days of Día de Muertos. Ofrendas (or offerings) are altars created to honor those who have died and are traditionally filled with photographs, food, flowers, and candles. All are welcome to bring these elements or others that celebrate someone special in your life who has passed. A digital printer will be available for those who wish to print a photo during the celebration. Please refrain from bringing alcohol, tobacco, or anything flammable and note that we are unable to return any items left on the ofrenda. Contributing to the community ofrenda is free and will be open on Nov. 1 and 2. At the conclusion of Día de Muertos, messages and memories will be placed in the sacred fire with love and care to commit them to the cosmos.

Installation by Artist Cal Duran

Within our community ofrenda, we are excited to present the newly commissioned work El árbol de honor: Muerte y vida como uno (The Honoring tree: Death and life as One), an installation by Denver-based artist Cal Duran. Duran will also facilitate the construction of an interactive ofrenda over the two-day Día de Muertos celebration. Guests are invited to bring flowers to contribute to this communal work.

About Cal Duran

Cal Duran is a Queer, Two Spirit, Indigenous, Native, Mixed blood, Latinx, Manito, Mestizo, Chicanx, Indian Artist, and Arts Educator from Colorado. He has roots that bridge India, Mexico, and the natives of this land. He finds himself exploring parallels between his hybrid identities found in myth, religion, and ritual.

He has shown altars, installations and artwork in museums and galleries throughout the Denver Metro area and beyond. He continues to honor his ancestors and recently created a room at Meow Wolf in Denver, honoring the Indigenous tribes of Colorado and the Americas. It was through art that he began to connect to his ancestors. He is guided by these ancestors to create altars as beacons of light for the ones beyond this realm.

As a youth educator, Cal understands how important art is for our next generation in creating safe spaces and helping youth find their voice. He is honored to weave his vision of ancestral knowledge in order to guide others as they seek to reconnect to ancestors, create altars and remember where they came from. He gives gratitude and love to everyone working hard to create a world full of love, joy, and creativity.



Ofrendas created by local schools and community groups will be on view in the museum.

  • Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School
    Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind
    Grand Mountain School
    Harrison High School
    Inside Out Youth Services
    Peak Education
    Pikes Peak State College
    Stroud Scholars Program
    Widefield Elementary School of Arts
    William Palmer High School

agents of care gallery shot

Agents of Care: The Lives of Objects

Join the museum collections team in the Agents of Care gallery to explore selections from the museum’s collection of Mexican Folk Art (Arte Popular). Learn the history behind these works and how they came into the museum’s care, and discover the steps collections staff are taking to preserve them and make them accessible to communities around the world.

Mi Gente: Manifestations of Community in the Southwest

Drawing from works in the collection stewarded by the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Mi Gente: Manifestations of Community in the Southwest focuses primarily on works by Chicanx/a/o, Hispanic, and Mexican American artists based in New Mexico and Colorado and considers the politics and complexities of community, including those who are perceived as outsiders. 

Image: Carlos FrésquezThe Obsidian Ranfla Series #3 (detail), 1999, Museum Purchase (Colorado 2000 Purchase Prize), FA 2000.4.

Care and ShareCare and Share Food Drive

We are proud to be partnering with Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado to collect non-perishable food items for our neighbors in need across Southern Colorado. Wondering what to donate? Items like peanut butter, canned meat or tuna, packaged snacks, oatmeal, cereal, and canned fruits and vegetables are always in high demand!

One non-perishable food item = one free museum admission pass

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College welcomes participants with disabilities. Please contact Frances Huntington,, (719) 477-4360 to request accommodations. Advance notice may be necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs. American Sign Language interpretation will be available on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 4–8 p.m.

Header image: Ballet Folklórico de la Raza perform during a Dia de Muertos event at the FAC on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. Photo by Lonnie Timmons III / Colorado College.

Land Acknowledgement

Land Acknowledgement

Colorado College occupies the traditional territories of the Nuchu, known today as the Southern Ute Tribe, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, and the Northern Ute People, who lost their beloved homelands due to colonization, forced relocation, and land theft. Other tribes have also lived here including the Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Comanche — and notably, continue to do so, along with many other Indigenous Peoples. To actively seek social justice, we acknowledge that the land continues to hold the values and traditions of the original inhabitants and caretakers of this land. We pay honor and respect to their ancestors, elders, and youth — past, present, and future.


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